Ladies Arabic College

To satisfy an extensive need of the Muslim community in Sri Lanka, for the complete education of Muslim girls, the Rifayiya Ladies’ Arabic College (RLAC) was established in September 2003 with 35 students. While several institutions provide such education for boys, there are only few that cater to Muslim girls with the appropriate facilities, for their complete cultural and educational development in the Southern Province.

The College provides residential facilities to the girls, particularly orphans, needy, and those affected by Tsunami, who attend regular school, for their general secular education up to GCE Advanced Level and with Islamic religious knowledge leading up to the Department of the Examination qualification for Islam teachers and the Moulavia qualification, by the end of four years. In addition, the College provides programmes in IT, English and other vocational skills.

Rifayiya Ladies' Arabic College is in Kapuwatta Weligama, a town situated in the Southern Province, approximately 150 km south of Colombo which is one of the original settlement points of the early Arab and Muslim settlers who arrived in the Island.

Through the efforts and generous support of the members of the Management Committee, the monthly operating costs of the College are being presently met. About a year ago by the kind gesture of a philanthropist of the area, the College was gifted with a valuable piece of land, approximately 3.5 acres in extent, adjacent to Kapuwatta Jummah Mosque.

RLAC Committee Members

Work commenced in August 2004, to setup a state of the art Campus for the College, on this land, with facilities for a Montessori School, Lecture Halls, IT Centre, CD & Reference Library, Hostel, Reception Hall, and Mosque (exclusively for ladies). The total project cost is expected to be around Rs. 50mn, of which the 1st stage, in progress, will cost around Rs. 16mn.

On 26 December 2004, the Tsunami waves that struck our Island nation left the entire coastal belt from the North, East and down to the South devastated, killing around sixty thousand people and rendering nearly 1.2mn homeless, destitute and without bread- winners or any source of income. A majority of those affected (approx. 60%) were from the Muslim community and were settled in the Eastern and Southern Provinces. Many of the victims are now widows, orphans and destitute, needing assistance for shelter and livelihood support to get back to normal life and for sustenance thereafter.

Due to this urgent and grave need in the Southern Province, the Committee decided to focus on supporting these widows and orphans with much needed vocational training and livelihood development programmes to help them get back on their feet and support their family as bread-winners, which position they have been forced into by fate, due to this calamity. This was a lesson for the community to focus attention on the need to uplift the educational and social standard of our women.

Therefore, the management Committee decided to accelerate the development programme of the College, to complete the construction work and provide equipment for training facilities and programmes for up to 100 students (at end of stage 1) and 250 on completion.

However, due to the constraints placed on the local community in raising the finances required, particularly in the post - Tsunami situation, we are compelled to seek the assistance of our brothers in the international community to help us in this worthy mission.

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